Matthew 23-24 New Revised Standard Version

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Jesus Denounces the Scribes and Pharisees

23 1  Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, 2  "The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses' seat; 3  therefore, do whatever they teach you and follow it; but do not do as they do, for they do not practice what they teach. 4  They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on the shoulders of others; but they themselves are unwilling to lift a finger to move them 5  They do all their deeds to be seen by others; for they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long. 6  They love to have the place of honor at banquets and the best seats in the synagogues, 7  and to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces, and to have people call them rabbi. 8  But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all students. 9  And call no one your father on earth, for you have one Father-the one in heaven. 10  Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one instructor, the Messiah. 11  The greatest among you will be your servant. 12  All who exalt themselves will be humbled, and all who humble themselves will be exalted.

13  "But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you lock people out of the kingdom of heaven. For you do not go in yourselves, and when others are going in, you stop them. 14   15  Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cross sea and land to make a single convert, and you make the new convert twice as much a child of hell as yourselves. 16  "Woe to you, blind guides, who say, "Whoever swears by the sanctuary is bound by nothing, but whoever swears by the gold of the sanctuary is bound by the oath.' 17  You blind fools! For which is greater, the gold or the sanctuary that has made the gold sacred? 18  And you say, "Whoever swears by the altar is bound by nothing, but whoever swears by the gift that is on the altar is bound by the oath.' 19  How blind you are! For which is greater, the gift or the altar that makes the gift sacred 20  So whoever swears by the altar, swears by it and by everything on it; 21  and whoever swears by the sanctuary, swears by it and by the one who dwells in it 22  and whoever swears by heaven, swears by the throne of God and by the one who is seated upon it. 23  "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint, dill, and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. It is these you ought to have practiced without neglecting the others. 24  You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel! 25  "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. 26  You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup, so that the outside also may become clean. 27  "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which on the outside look beautiful, but inside they are full of the bones of the dead and of all kinds of filth. 28  So you also on the outside look righteous to others, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness. 29  "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and decorate the graves of the righteous, 30  and you say, "If we had lived in the days of our ancestors, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.' 31  Thus you testify against yourselves that you are descendants of those who murdered the prophets. 32  Fill up, then, the measure of your ancestors. 33  You snakes, you brood of vipers! How can you escape being sentenced to hell?

34  Therefore I send you prophets, sages, and scribes, some of whom you will kill and crucify, and some you will flog in your synagogues and pursue from town to town, 35  so that upon you may come all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Barachiah, whom you murdered between the sanctuary and the altar. 36  Truly I tell you, all this will come upon this generation

Jesus Laments over Jerusalem

37  "Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often have I desired to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing! 38  See, your house is left to you, desolate. 39  For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, "Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.' "

The Destruction of the Temple and Signs before the End

24 1  As Jesus came out of the temple and was going away, his disciples came to point out to him the buildings of the temple. 2  Then he asked them, "You see all these, do you not? Truly I tell you, not one stone will be left here upon another; all will be thrown down." 3  When he was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, "Tell us, when will this be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?"

4  Jesus answered them, "Beware that no one leads you astray. 5  For many will come in my name, saying, "I am the Messiah!' and they will lead many astray. 6  And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars; see that you are not alarmed; for this must take place, but the end is not yet. 7  For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places: 8  all this is but the beginning of the birth pangs. 9  "Then they will hand you over to be tortured and will put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of my name. 10  Then many will fall away, and they will betray one another and hate one another. 11  And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. 12  And because of the increase of lawlessness, the love of many will grow cold. 13  But the one who endures to the end will be saved. 14  And this good news of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the world, as a testimony to all the nations; and then the end will come. 15  "So when you see the desolating sacrilege standing in the holy place, as was spoken of by the prophet Daniel (let the reader understand), 16  then those in Judea must flee to the mountains; 17  the one on the housetop must not go down to take what is in the house; 18  the one in the field must not turn back to get a coat. 19  Woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing infants in those days! 20  Pray that your flight may not be in winter or on a sabbath. 21  For at that time there will be great suffering, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be. 22  And if those days had not been cut short, no one would be saved; but for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short. 23  Then if anyone says to you, "Look! Here is the Messiah!' or "There he is!'-do not believe it. 24  For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and produce great signs and omens, to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. 25  Take note, I have told you beforehand. 26  So, if they say to you, "Look! He is in the wilderness,' do not go out. If they say, "Look! He is in the inner rooms,' do not believe it. 27  For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 28  Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.

The Coming of the Son of Man

29  "Immediately after the suffering of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of heaven will be shaken. 30  Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see "the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven' with power and great glory. 31  And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

32  "From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near. 33  So also, when you see all these things, you know that he is near, at the very gates. 34  Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place. 35  Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

No Man Knoweth the Day and Hour

36  "But about that day and hour no one knows, neither the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 37  For as the days of Noah were, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 38  For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day Noah entered the ark, 39  and they knew nothing until the flood came and swept them all away, so too will be the coming of the Son of Man. 40  Then two will be in the field; one will be taken and one will be left. 41  Two women will be grinding meal together; one will be taken and one will be left. 42  Keep awake therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. 43  But understand this: if the owner of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. 44  Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour.

The Unfaithful Servant

45  "Who then is the faithful and wise slave, whom his master has put in charge of his household, to give the other slaves their allowance of food at the proper time? 46  Blessed is that slave whom his master will find at work when he arrives. 47  Truly I tell you, he will put that one in charge of all his possessions. 48  But if that wicked slave says to himself, "My master is delayed,' 49  and he begins to beat his fellow slaves, and eats and drinks with drunkards, 50  the master of that slave will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour that he does not know. 51  He will cut him in pieces and put him with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

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